Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My 2012 Missions Support Letter

"To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." – William Carey

A few months ago, I worked with some student mission leaders and gave them the paradigm of being a mapmaker. One step further than Mr. Carey, this idea conveyed that in times of constant, disruptive change, you could learn to read a map or you could learn to make your own maps. This summer, I have the opportunity to be involved in two interesting projects that fall under the mapmaker paradigm.

Most of you know about my little student missions nonprofit called The Ember Cast. I'll be helping lead a team with Ember to Queen Creek, AZ, working with my friend Ben Cloud and Amadeo Church. The team will see up close how a relatively new church works, learn about starting a new ministry in some detailed sessions with Ben and contribute to some community impact projects that form a structure that allow our team to be catalysts for what God may do in the Amadeo community. Ministry activities include serving with ReStore, their food and clothing pantry; Friends Feeding Friends, their homeless ministry; and various other community projects. Most or all of the Sheng's will probably participate on this team as well and this trip is July 7-16. My grand hope for this team of leaders and students is that this experience propels them on a trajectory where instead of reading maps, they start making their own.

The second project is with Grace Community Church, our home church. I have been invited to be on a 'vision' team, which will scout out the possibilities of some potential ministry partnerships in Brussels, Belgium as part of Grace's long term global strategy. Our team will have meetings with a variety of ministry leaders and will be observing, listening and discerning from June 28 to July 4. Our hope is that this experience helps set up a clear map with regards to potential partnerships for Grace in Europe.

We welcome and thank you for your prayers for both of these experiences. If you feel led, I'm raising 50% of support for both trips. The support target for Ember 2012 AZ is $1500 [for all the Shengs] and the support target for Brussels is also $1500. Unfortunately, support for both organizations must be kept independent, so that requires two separate donations if you give to both.

Ember believes that missionaries of the future will rely on a 'portfolio of revenue.' In other words, they will need to actually make some money outside of personal donations. As part of this summer, each person, including me, is asked to dream and execute a 'Creative Revenue Plan.' My Creative Revenue Plan involves providing one teaching session on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment for interested individuals and teams. We will walk through each person's results, talk about how it fits with a team and discuss the assessment in the context of their organizations goals, structure and culture. All proceeds will go to supporting the Ember 2012 AZ team. If this is something you or someone you know might be interested in, please let me know.

Get in touch if you want to send financial support. If you are local and want to donate, let me know and I will come buy you lunch. Please make sure your checks are payable to either The Ember Cast, Inc., or Grace Community Church, depending on which project you feel led to support.

You may also contribute online to The Ember Cast. Online donations are done via - be aware that Amazon takes 2.9% + .30 for each donation. The Ember Cast is a registered 501c3 nonprofit and you will receive a receipt for your donation approximately 6 weeks after your donation is received. The Ember Cast reserves the right to re-direct your support in the case that the person you are supporting is 100% funded. However, 100% of donations go to catalyzing global student leaders. Your donation is very, very much appreciated.

As always, thank you for your long standing passion for student missions. I'm convinced, like you are, that we need more global leaders than ever and that those leaders come out of students who are poised right now to make a difference in our world. I will be sure to tell you not only how we make maps this summer but how we make mapmakers that go on to mark human history. Thanks again for your support and prayers!

[Related: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 Mission Support Letters]

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